Get Jacked Not Fit 2009

December 9, 2009

As this semester and this blog wind down in a fiery ball of finals, national championship runs and and more finals, I leave thee, dear reader with a parting gift.

No, it’s not my press pass to the game or my tickets to Passadena, so stop asking. Instead, it’s a workout to help you wade through the Christmas feasts and the midnight runs to Whataburger and/or Kerby Lane that fuel your studying.

It’s called, as you might have guess from the title, “Get Jacked Not Fat 2009”. Very down to the point. So here we go, courtesy of Zepeda Performance Systems:

Workout A: 5-step circuit. After each circuit, rest for two minutes. Do 3-5 circuits, depending on how much you feel like punishing yourself.

Start with  a front squat/push press, 4-6 repetitions at whatever weight you can handle.

swiss ball lateral roll (explained)- 4-6 repetitions

Chin ups: 10 repetitions

Swiss ball side crunch: 4-6 repetitions

Swiss ball jackknife: 4-6 repetitions

The swiss ball is an awesome device, as this workout tries to show. Get accustomed to it.

Lateral roll:

Do this circuit 3-5 times.

A second workout, recommended t break up monotiny and work different muscles, follows.

Start with the Romanian Deadlift 4-6 repetitions at a weight you can handle.

With a medicine ball, kneeling shoulder press, 8 repetitions

Then a set of Mogul squats: as many possible reps in 20 seconds

Back to the swiss ball for push ups, 8-10 reps

And end with the Tornado Chop 30 reps, to work the abs.

That’s a lot of links, but somone has to decode these workout terms. Hope that helps in getting some work done in between those tests and holiday shopping. Enjoy.


Big D in Dallas

December 8, 2009

As I strained my neck to see the ball soar through the air at Cowboys Stadium, I couldn’t help but mutter a prayer, and a curse for Jerry Jones, under my breath. It was all on the line: an undefeated season, a national championship game, an agonizing post game interview where we try to find out why Colt McCoy decided to have a stroll out of the pocket as time expired. And I pretty much missed it, thanks to the aforementioned JJ.

While practically every stadium in the country allows us vaunted members of the media on the field for the final 5 minutes, the Cowboys do not, meaning I was watching the biggest moment of Texas’ season over a crowd of supremely pissed reporters under the bowels of Jerry’s new stadium. I thought the kick was wide, the Texas-friendly crowd cheered wildly, the TV, on a 7 second tape delay, showed it was good by thismuch and I was able to take a breath before suffocating. Close one. As a sidenote, I would have linked to my story, but thanks for having a server problem. You’re about as reliable as Texas’ interior O-line.

Now for something fun:

See Vince run into a crowd of people? The guy in the white shirt that he is closest to is The Daily Texan reporter who came down from the press box for the final five minutes. That should have been me Saturday! Anyway, latent bitterness aside, what a game. Texas, and myself, are going to the Rose Bowl on January 7th for the national title after the most ridiculous of 13-12 wins over Nebraska.

If the NC game is anything like Saturday night, or January 4, 2006, for that matter, I recommend a steady diet of low cholesterol foods, no caffeine or anything that could clog your arteries, because you’re going to have your heart in your mouth for a good 4 hours. You’ve been warned.

Back to the game. What a display by Ndamukong Suh, who might be the most athletic person to grace college football in, well, ever. At 300 pounds, Suh looked like the strongest, fastest and smartest person on the field.  I think we can  assume he ate his vegetable growing up. He also had this icy, assasin’s cool to him in the post-game while his head coach was blowing up over the clock controversy. He’s just cold blooded, let’s move on before I get flashbacks to him throwing McCoy like a sack of potatoes.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed our detours into Texas football. It’s not exactly fitness and outdoors, but it’s close enough, and who wants to read another gym review anyway? See you in Pasadena.

Footy/Soccer Tennis

November 30, 2009

Brace yourself for a new generation of sport, America. In combining two different sports the U.S. is already ambivalent to or completely uninterested in, we have discovered one of the greatest, if not the most popular, sports/games around.

In accordance with my English heritage, I will refer to it by its rightfull name, “Football-Tennis”, but you can call it “Soccer-Tennis” if you so desire.  Basically you combine a tennis court, net and rules, with a football (soccer) ball.  Originally, I played this sport/game as a kid growing up in Romania, chalking off the court in the middle of the road and doddging cars as they came by. With the discovery of tennis courts upon my move to America, the game took on a new life between myself, my brother and a few friends we recruited.

But fear not, dear reader, that this silly sport is some creation of my imgination. There is in fact, an organization, developed independatly of my input, which stages some pretty serious competitions between teams and even countries. Yes, dear reader, you could reperesent the United States in a Soccer Tennis competition. It’s not quite Beer Fest, but it’s a start.


“Football” comes first in the name and with good reason, because that is the foundation of the sport (I just lost half my audience). Using your footy skills, you juggle, pass, slide, head or in any way (but no hands!) propel the ball to the other side of the net, in the court, before it bounces twice on your side.

Personally, I’m not too fond of the official rules, which allow for only one touch per player, volleyball style, while I always enjoyed juggling the ball into position. Alas, minor rules disagreements aside, this game is quite awesome. On several occasions, after scaling the fence of the nearby tennis courts, and drawing the ire of a police officer for being in the park after 10 p.m., we drew crowds of perplexed amazed spectators, drawn like a moth to a flame towards our strange creation.

There’s plenty of running, kicking, and if you do it like us, screaming, crying and perhaps some bleeding. All in all, it’s great, so next time you end up near a tennis court, bring the footy ball, strap on the boots, and have a kick about.
I do wish I could show you guys a video of us playing our own way, but I was unable to get the band back together over Thanksgiving for a game, so the above example will have to do. Enjoy.

Texas vs Texas A&M Liveblog

November 26, 2009

We’ll be liveblogging the Lone Star Showdown from the Kyle Field pressbox tonight at 7 p.m.

Click Here

Here are some of the post-game scenes at Kyle Field, courtesy of my little flip cam:


And here’s McCoy talking after the game, also courtesy of my little flip cam:



Football Fever

November 23, 2009

So the following post has little to do with calories, carbs or Frisbee, but it does involve fitness and it did take place outdoors, and is thus germane.

Saturday night was a historic one in college football as Texas quarterback Colt McCoy won his 43 game, more than any quarterback ever before him. Now fear not dear reader(s), this is not a fanboy post dripping with burnt orange pride.

As an accredited member of the media, I’ve been covering Texas football all season for  The Daily Texan, a mostly legitimate student newspaper. As such, I’ve had the task and the privilege of traveling across the span of the country, and Oklahoma, to report on games in Wyoming, Missouri and the aforementioned “state”.

While waking up at 6 a.m. for a flight to Denver and drive to Laramie (right, where?) with an impromptu fog attack in between, and driving 26 hours in a weekend to Columbia and back were previously the highlights of this endevour, last night now probably takes the cake.

Hearing a whole stadium chant McCoy’s name in appreciation of the last four years was pretty special. Standing right next to him, and Bevo, and the UT cheerleaders,  as he completed his victory lap was even better.

Thanks to aaronisnotcool from flick

As members of the media, we get to go down on the field for the last few minutes of the game. In this case, we witnessed a whole bunch of celebration, including a dog pile of very, very big men at midfield, and McCoy firing Smokey the cannon and banging Big Bertha. You can read about the game here.

Thanks to aaronisnotcool on flickr

For those who need filling in, Texas is now 11-0 and two wins (against A&M Thursday and Nebraska on December 5th) from a potential national championship game in California. See you there?

Back to the fitness aspect, in a desperate attempt to establish some sort of relevance for this post, these players represent the pinnacle of athletic achievement. And most of it comes through hard work. Mack Brown (here I am name dropping) wastes no chances to tell us about the 6 a.m. workouts he puts his players through on a weekly basis, the hours in the weight room, the meals missed and calories counted.

But they’re not perfect. Sometime-starter at running back Cody Johnson has a well-chronicled battle with weight, which cost him his starting spot at the beginning of the year. But after dropping 20 pounds, mostly by avoiding his mom’s cooking and a rigorous work out schedule, Johnson has run his way into 12 touchdowns this year, most on the team.

So if you need a little inspiration to keep going, just think of Cody Johnson. Pretend he’s behind you and wants to eat you, that’ll keep you going.



Ultimate Experience

November 20, 2009

Nothing quite says college like a game of ultimate frisbee. Don’t lie, you’ve seen the hordes massing together at Clark Field or the IM Fields in Austin, or pretty much anywhere there is grass to be destroyed near a college campus.

If you’re anything like me, you’ve watched from  a distance, dissapointed to see a frisbe instead of a soccer ball flying through the air. As much as frisbee is part of the college culture, it isn’t part of mine.

But after some pleading from an ultimately dedicated (get it?) roommate, I decided to give Ultimate a shot.

First off, some background:

The sport was started in the 1960s by bored students (sound familiar?) To play, you throw a frisbee to teammates, but you can’t run with the ball. Imagine it like football, but with no line of scrimmage and no running after the catch. You get points by reaching the opposing end zone.


Despite the rules emphasis on not running, you’ll quickly find it’s a bit more intense than you first expected.

“It’s pretty much the ultimate workout,” my roommate, Gary, says without irony.

The game consists of pretty much constant running and catching, combining the cardio aspect of soccer (my sport of choice) with the explosiveness of football. Basically, it kicked my ass.

You’ll quickly find some people, like the above mentioned Gary, take it way, way too seriously. There are multiple club teams at UT and around the area that compete in tournaments. Once you get good enough, you might find yourself going all over the country to throw the ole’ frisbee around. Gary has made trips as far as Washington to play in Ultimate tournaments.

As you might expect from something taken this seriously, there’s even a players’ association.

“It takes a lot of commitment,” Gary said. “It’s just like any other sport.”

So, Ultimate (you leave out Frisbee)? Who knew? After a little session, I can confirm it is in fact a real sport. But that won’t stop me from making fun of it.


More food stuff

November 16, 2009

Because we haven’t talked enough about food, I went and consulted with a nutritionist last week to give us more to talk about.

When it comes to fitness and food, it boils down to a few key things, I was told by Dr. James Nabb, who was gracious enough to answer some emails.

Once you get past the very basics (be aware of calories, fats, no trans fats), he gave me a few simple tips to pass on:

Eat about 5 times a day. Make sure you eat breakfast, it really is the most omportant meal of the day.

“You need protein to jumpstart your metabolism,” he said. “Fruit, milk and oatmeal is perfect.” Eggs are good too, but don’t go overboard on the omelets (yum).


Protein, yum, is the key to getting your metabolism going.

From there, it’s important to keep eating regularly to maintain your metabolism. A nut and fruit bar should get you to lunch, where you do your best to avoid the temptaion and ease of a drive through.

Once you turn down  McDonald’s for that sandwhich and water instead of Big Mac and extra large Coke, you should eat a little something to get you to dinner. Avoid eating too late, keep it light.

The important thing is to keep a consistent rate. Starving yourself for a few hours than gorging isn’t going to get you very far. It’s also important you don’t eat too little. Studies have shown that your body will go into starvation mode if it doesn’t get enough calories, during which it will horde whatever it can get to keep you going.

To get more info on nutrition, check out for a bunch of news and resources to eating better.